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1 Nov 2010

My natural hair journey

Two years ago today, I started my natural hair journey out of choice. My hair was natural “by force” from the age of 0 till 16 as my mother forbade my elder sister and I to relax our hair till we finished secondary school. After my final exams, I was so excited to relax my hair and that was one of the first things I did. But you see my hair is very soft and anytime I relaxed it my scalp would burn. I felt this shouldn’t be, but what else could I do to my hair. I started considering going natural but was scared to do it as I wasn't sure how I would manage my hair.

I gradually came to a point where I used to relax my hair twice/thrice a year. After a while I began to get tired of putting chemicals on my hair. I felt God gave me this natural hair, why am I trying to make it look different killing my scalp and hair in the process? I decided to check online, read articles, watched videos and bought a book on natural hair. I didn’t want to do the big chop and regret it.

I transitioned for a while and on that fateful day, Nov 1 2008 I took a bold step and did the big chop. I didn’t set out to do it but it happened (long story). Baale was not a happy bunny. I had been hinted to him I was going natural but I don’t think he took me serious. When he saw my chopped up hair in comb twists later that day he was in utter shock and didn’t speak to me for sometime. We have come a long way from where we were two years ago maybe because I have come to a silent compromise with him- I braid my hair and fix weaves some times. Those are the times I don’t hear any complains. I think he has come to terms with my natural hair (more like given up on me) but still hopes some day I go back to relaxing my hair.

Like Baale, some friends and family find it perplexing that I have gone natural. Some quietly wondered while some have asked me out rightly what on earth I am doing. Some people see it has your hair is unkempt. Well, I try to explain myself in one sentence because anything more than that might result into an argument. My hair is not a function of who I am, it is a part of me but I am not my hair. What I decide to do with my hair is my personal choice. The same way you have decided to relax your hair is the same way I have decided not to. I don’t judge you because you have relaxed hair. God loves us all and I doubt it is our hair that will determine where we end up when we die.

Some have even gone as far as saying, “if you like don’t relax your hair but if Princess wants to relax her hair don’t stop her”. LOL. My reply usually is to laugh and say I will tell Princess the same thing my mother said to my elder sister and I- “nothing touches your hair till you leave secondary school, after that if you want to put jerry curls on one side and tint the other side that one na your own palaver.” Hope that answers the question.

My natural hair journey in summary has been full of high and low moments. Frustrating days esp. when I can’t think of what to do with my hair. Right now I am considering chopping it all up and letting my hair grow again. Hmmm. Whatever the case I don't see myself relaxing my hair again.

I think it is safe to say that going natural isn’t for the faint hearted. It is probably against everything you know right now and what the BLACK/Africa media, culture, or society agree with e.g some African companies won't employ you because of it, some hairdressers will put their nose up and refuse to braid your hair, some will try to charge you more (happened to me). You need to make the choice for yourself and do your research. I am glad I have inspired one or two people in helping them make that final decision to go natural.

So today, I wish myself happy two years of going natural and will like to give a shout out to all the natural hair bloggers (as at the last time I checked) I know. It is a narrow road we are on (if I may say so myself) and only a few travel it so we should be celebrated.

Standtall, tygernity, favoured girl, tolatino, jaycee, archiwiz, FFF, Scarlet, doll.

If u are a natural girl like me, hola! For my relaxed hair friends as well, I love you too. Muah! ;)

17 comments:

  1. Yay!! Happy two years. I went natural about a year and a half ago and haven't looked back since then.

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  2. i went natural over a year ago..however, i hardly rock it o! but then, i never rocked my relaxed hair either

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  3. i'm seriously tinking abt going natural too, my hair no gree grow,i don 'apply' tire to no avail *mschew* :)

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  4. Keep rocking ur hair the way u want to dear, that journey sure isnt for the faint hearted

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  5. ...ladies' movement.

    *slips out and closes the door*

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  6. Congrats! You know where I stand with natural hair...day by day, you girls keep convincing me to go natural.
    If I decide to, there's no big chop for me!(Hell to the NO)...I'm just going to "transition" smoothly I hope.
    But my hair makes Olumo rock look soft...no kidding!therein lies my big issue with me going natural.
    I love the fact that you've stuck to what makes you comfortable. Keep being you babes!;)

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  7. Making a decision to transition your hair is definitely not an easy decision, like you my mum stipulated no chemicals till after secondary school.
    Unlike you, my hair is stubborn and even when it's undergrown, combing it is always hard.
    At the moment, my hair is just there, whether by choice or by force, i havent had chemicals in it for several months. I'll be deciding what to do to it later...though i only do the chemicals like thrice a year even if i do...
    I don't know jare..but congrats on your 'hairversary' :)

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  8. Congrats on your anniversary especially as you had a hubby who was not so supportive. It is not easy, kudos!

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  9. I can so relate to this. I went natural about two years ago too and while it's not been an easy journey, for me personally it's been worth it! My hair is very kinky and stubborn so it was scary at first to imagine leaving it in its natural state but with patience and lots of knowledge, I've learnt how to make it work. My hubby too doesn't get the point, but I hope that one day he will! (He hates weaves though, but that is a story for another day, lol)

    congrats girl, and keep doing what's best for you and your hair!

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  10. It aint easy but it worth it! happy anniversary to your hair and you! Thanks for the shout out too. Wish I had met up with you in da UK... looking forward to seeing you some day all natural -lol

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  11. I admire the honesty of this post. You could have left out the part of the reactions of your loved ones but you didn't and that provides us with a honest perspective of some of the challenges that people considering transitioning might face.

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  12. Yaay ..you are not alone. Started over a year ago....no turning back!

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  13. I have been natural for a year and half now (though i have it in weaves most of the time) and it has not been easy.The comments i get from my fellow Nigerians crack me up.People just cant fathom the idea of natural hair and i dont blame them.The norm is to have relaxed hair and anything outside that, gets you labeled "S.U, deeper life, Unkempt".The last time i was in Nigeria someone actually asked my mom why she let me come out with my hair looking like that. My mom totally hated it and she didnt rest till i had it braided. It is a shame that our default hair has now become a thing of ridicule.I enjoy being natural and i feel sexiest when my hair is in its natural state.I am not against relaxed hair, but are we going to keep putting chemicals on our hair until we are old?Sooner or later the hair will start falling off.The chemicals in relaxers are harsh and since i wouldnt put it on my skin, why my hair? I have been tempted many times but I hope never to go back to relaxers,God help me.

    Lol @ the hubby for not talking to you when you first went natural...

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  15. we must ve the same kind of hair. i retouch like thrice a year. reall wish i could go natural but i have elastic hair so thats an issue on its own.
    been reading through older post. thank God for preserving the life of your daughter. She will celebrate 10, 16, 21, 50, 80 and so on.

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  16. Our journeys are identical. No chemical till after secondary school and even then my hair was so soft I resorted to twice a year relaxing.

    I went natural in 2009 and its been an eventful journey. My Baale has always been supportive as he is not crazy about weaveon but one has to be careful not to look unkempt... I think it is possible though to look amazing with natural hair. I have been asked many times on the road where I get my hair done.... the journey continues... we were born this way and we are proud to stay this way- atta natural sisters!

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  17. Wow!!!!I'm relating so much to ds.I've been on naturelle since like....a long time and I rememba one tym lyk dt wen it was relaxed,my hair felt like a collection of wires!!!LOL!.I agree wif 'chictherapy'and 'tiger'and u too dearie.wateva mks u happy..my blog is mindshde.blogspot.com

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